Cops probing John ‘Goldfinger’ Palmer’s murder look at other unsolved killings
Detectives probing the execution of gangster John “Goldfinger” Palmer are looking at potential links to a string of unsolved killings.
They include the murder of a British couple in 2006 and the death of Palmer’s former henchman, three months before that of the crime boss – once said to be Britain’s richest crook worth £300million.
Essex Police confirmed they are also examining a possible connection to the 2005 killing of a former British soldier in Tanzania and the death of a timeshare boss in Spain five years later.
A spokeswoman said: “We are committed to solving this murder and are continuing to explore a number of lines of inquiry.”
Expats Billy and Flo Robinson were found dead near their Canary Island home in Tenerife in 2006.
Mr Robinson suffered multiple stab wounds and Mrs Robinson suffered brutal mutilation, said one source.
The horrific torture killings – and the fact that the couple were linked to Palmer, operating in an office he used, led to some disturbing reports.
It was feared the couple may have been the victims of Eastern Europeans trying to muscle in on the timeshare market and that police believed Palmer knew of threats made against them.
Palmer – who earned his nickname after being cleared of helping to dispose of gold from the £26million Brink’s-Mat robbery at Heathrow Airport in 1983 – had returned to the UK, after being released halfway through an eight-year prison sentence for a £30m fraud.
Three months before Palmer’s death – in June, 2015, at home in South Weald, Brentwood – one of his former lieutenants, Dennis New was found dead at 58.
And Essex Police have confirmed that officers probing Palmer’s murder have also looked into the case of the ex-boxer, originally from South London.
Local police near his home in Phuket, Thailand, said New had died of a heart attack and there were no suspicious circumstances.
He had been arrested in 2002 with fellow Palmer lieutenants Richard Cashman, of Stockton-on-Tees and Lebanese-born Mohamed Derbah.
All three were held in Madrid after a series of arrests in Tenerife and the Costa del Sol but were released without charge.
Another case is the death of timeshare shark Garry Leigh, 47, in 2010.
He was run over during a Saturday cycle ride in Marbella on the Costa del Sol.
Leigh – the brother-in-law of Costa killer Tony King – had long been involved in a variety of timeshare scams.
The fifth death being investigated for possible links to the Palmer murder is that of former soldier Dale Moore in February 2005 in Tanzania.
A former associate has said that he was linked to Palmer and was assassinated.
Found in a cargo container, the cause of death was recorded as a heart attack but his family were surprised by the early death of the fit and healthy 40-year-old non-smoker.
Moore, originally from Stourbridge but living in Kent at the time of his death, spent six years in the Army and went into private security work after he left the Coldstream Guards.
His son Kieran said: “Our family have always had unanswered questions marks about my father’s death.
“When he was returned to the UK my mum was told she should not see the body as it was in such a bad state.”
A second unconnected source, a former military colleague, said: “I was told that he was stabbed to death in a bar but I have seen no evidence to support that.”
The Essex Police spokeswoman said of the murders and deaths: “We are aware of these cases and have explored them.”
Palmer, 64, was watched through a spyhole in his garden fence in South Weald, Essex, before a gunman shot him six times as he burned documents.
Remarkably, Palmer’s death was not treated as suspicious by Essex Police until six days after he died.
A case review revealed a paramedic told police he doubted the conman’s wounds were from recent keyhole chest surgery.
But police officers at the scene were “not concerned”, the report said.
Essex Police said the two officers had been disciplined “for failing to fully comply with Essex Police policy on dealing with sudden deaths” but their actions had not amounted to gross misconduct.
Detectives suspect Palmer was shot to stop him passing information to authorities. He had been due to stand trial with 10 others on real estate fraud charges in Spain.
Underworld figures may have feared he was trying to strike a deal to avoid prison.
Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Jennings, who is spearheading the current Palmer probe, has said previously that he believes it was connected to charges he faced at the time in Spain.
The hit may have been ordered by “someone very high up in the criminal underworld” who thought he was cutting a deal, he said.
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The Mirror has reported how a source said Palmer was killed on the orders of an international crime boss linked to an Islamist terror group.
An insider believes he planned to hand over evidence incriminating the man who ordered the hit – who has been accused of supplying weapons to militias and dealings with terrorists.
The source said: “John kept lots of information and was about to give them [the authorities] everything.”
Two have been quizzed on suspicion of plotting his murder and it is understood the crime boss has also been spoken to,but not under caution.
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